Gender differences in diet and nutrition among adults initiating anti-retroviral therapy in Dar es salaam, Tanzania
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CitationAbioye, Ajibola I., Sheila Isanaka, Enju Liu, Ramadhani S. Mwiru, Ramadhani A. Noor, Donna Spiegelman, Ferdinand Mugusi, and Wafaie Fawzi. 2015. “Gender Differences in Diet and Nutrition among Adults Initiating Antiretroviral Therapy in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.” AIDS Care 27 (6): 706–15. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540121.2014.996517.
AbstractHuman immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected males have poor treatment outcomes after initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) compared to HIV-infected women. Dietary factors might mediate the association between sex and disease progression. However, the gender difference in diet among HIV-infected individuals in sub-Saharan Africa is largely unknown. The objective of this study was to examine differences in dietary intake among HIV-infected men and women. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of dietary questionnaire data from 2038 adults initiating ART in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to assess whether nutrient adequacy differed by sex. We dichotomized participants' nutrient intakes by whether recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) were met and estimated the relative risk (RR) of meeting RDAs in males using binomial regression models. We also estimated the mean difference in intake of foods and food groups by gender. We found poorer dietary practices among men compared to women. Males were less likely to meet the RDAs for micronutrients critical for slowing disease progression among HIV patients: niacin (RR = 0.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.27 to 0.55), riboflavin (RR = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.73 to 0.91), vitamin C (RR = 0.94, 95% CI: 0.89 to 1.00), and zinc (RR = 0.06, 95% CI: 0.01 to 0.24). Intake of thiamine, pantothenate, vitamins B6, B12, and E did not vary by gender. Males were less likely to eat cereals (mean difference [servings per day] = -0.21, 95% CI: -0.44 to 0.001) and vegetables (mean difference = -0.47, 95% CI: -0.86 to -0.07) in their diet, but more likely to have meat (mean difference = 0.14, 95% CI: 0.06 to 0.21). We conclude that male HIV patients have poorer dietary practices than females, and this may contribute to faster progression of the disease in males.
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